A Reader Writes…
If my wife is having an affair with another married man, who has children and they are conspiring an elaborate way to get out of his marriage and our marriage, leaving a wake of destruction behind, my question is: “should I tell HIS wife that he is having an affair with MY wife and what his plans are to leave her broken with nothing and two children to look after.”
If I do tell his wife, should I do it anonymously or not? He will not tell his wife until all his conspiring ducks are in a row that suits him best and not her.
You are in a highly charged situation and the stakes are very high. So it’s good that you’ve stepped back and asked: My wife is having an affair should I tell his wife?
I’m going to start by answering your question (because I doubt you’ll focus on the second part of what I have to say until I do) but I’d like you to ask yourself some questions (which I think will be of far greater use in the long run.)
So should you tell your spouse’s affair partner’s other half? This tactic is fraught with danger and there are two particularly dangerous outcomes. Firstly, you stop the affair but your wife never forgives you (because you have gone behind her back, ruined the marriage of someone she loves or proved that you are a complete bastard who disregards her wishes).
I know you can argue – and I agree – she’s gone behind your back, he brought it on himself and what else could you do. However, what counts is what she thinks! Any way, you want her to choose to end the affair rather than be forced (and end up have secret facebook chats etc). In this way, you win a battle but lose the war.
Secondly, you could force everything out into the open but her affair partner leaves his wife and he’s now more available / appealing (and more likely to undermine attempts to save your marriage) or they simply run away together tomorrow.
There are other alternatives. You could just threaten your wife that you will tell his wife. However, I don’t think you can threaten someone into loving you! You could speak to the other man and tell him that if doesn’t back off, you’ll tell his wife.
There is a possibility that he might realise what he has to lose but coming across like an angry parent (telling him what’s best for his marriage and generally attacking him) is just as likely to make him start behaving like a rebellious teenager (and putting two fingers up to you both literally and metaphorically). Remember every word that you say will be reported back to your wife – with the worst possible spin.
In all of these options, you have given your wife more ammunition to say you’re the problem. Worse still, he becomes the victim of your attack and she has to ride to his rescue (and you’ve bonded them together even stronger so it’s poor little star cross lovers versus the rest of the world). Although you’re justifying your behaviour on his wife’s ‘right to know’ I doubt you’d get much thanks from her either.
My guess is she probably does know deep down and is, for reasons of her own, putting her fingers in her ears and going la la la. There’s no point trying to do this anonymously either, as they will KNOW it’s you and you’ll get the rap plus an extra dose of scorn and hatred for ‘not having the courage to come out and say it’ or ‘sneaking around’. (Once I know this is the pot calling the kettle black, but do you want to be right or married?)
So what should you do? I want you to step back and look at your thoughts and beliefs. In all your going over and over stuff in your mind, you have taken small snippets of information, put your interpretation on them and converted that into a solid fact.
Let me give you an example ‘he is planning to leave her broke with two children to care for’. What is the evidence? How could you possibly know his motives? (I doubt your even know your own motives or feelings as I bet they change from minute to minute from revenge, to forgiveness and back again.) Are you truly an independent witness? How do you know they are waiting to ‘line their ducks up’? What are these ducks? Could they equally be frightened, indecisive and vacillating?
Perhaps he does love his children and doesn’t want to break up his family but can’t give up his affair? Perhaps he’s just an ordinary guy caught between a rock and a hard place rather than how you paint him: a bond villain on a secret island stroking his cat.
Instead of focusing on this other man – who is probably a symptom of your problems rather than the cause – I’d much you focused on understanding how your marriage reached this point, learning from your mistakes and becoming the man you’d like to be (rather than someone who I doubt you recognise). Ultimately, you can’t make your wife do anything. The only thing you can control – in this out of control situations – is your own reactions to the drama (by keeping calm and not turning crisis into a tragedy).
Returning to your question, I would not tell your wife’s lover’s wife when you’re angry, frightened and desperate. Keep your powder dry (for the time being) and try to be the bigger person rather than descending down his level.
I know you’ve read My Wife Doesn’t Love Me Any More but please read I Love You but I’m Not in Love With You and How Can I Ever Trust You Again? too as they will help you with the difficult days, weeks and months ahead.
My D-Day was just over a week ago. I suspected my wife because she was gone for unusually longer than normal amounts of time. I used her “find my phone” service to discover she was lying about her whereabouts. I bit my tongue and went through my phone bills. I found the number and a few Google searched later had all the info on who this guy was. I put a tracker on her phone and saw the sexting going in while I was in surgery, while I was a few feet away eating breakfast in the same room, etc. I saw they were planning another hook-up and wanted to catch them and video record the affair “mid-stroke”.
At the advice of my supporters, I confronted her before the hookup. I’ll spare you the “even more lies before the truth” details but she confessed it had been going on for almost a year. I already had seen his Facebook page as well as his wife’s.
I’m working as hard as I can to rise above my base instinct of revenge but something just occurred to me. What if I’ve contracted an STD from my wife? She’s getting tested and I will, based on her results. Of course, I empathize with his wife even though I don’t know what their situation is. Maybe she’s hell on wheels or a cheater too. Regardless, I’m drawn to let her know not completely for spite. It’s more about the STD possibility and compassion for her as a human being. I’m completely broken by this affair, this betrayal. Knowledge is power and she should have the truth told to her.
Is there a possibility for blowback? Of course. I know I wanted to trash his car, his office, him. I fantasize about bringing him unspeakable pain. But that gives my power to him. It’s bad enough that I can’t get the picture of them together out of my head. I won’t let him waste any more of my time or further ruin my life more than he already has. But his wife deserves to know the truth because scum like him certainly won’t come clean unless pushed to the wall.
What I have asked my wife to do, and I am considering how much I will push her to do this, is to call the other wife and apologize for whoring with him. We have always told our children (and this was always one of her core philosophies) that every action comes with a consequence. Shouldn’t my wife deal with the consequences of her betrayal?
Andrew G. Marshall says
You sound incredibly angry and that’s fine and natural. But I wonder if telling his wife is just another part of your revenge fantasy. It might be better to focus all this energy on your healing, sorting our your marriage and deciding what’s best for the two of you.
Andrew, I’m in the same boat, I feel I should tell his wife because of the deceit we both as spouses have endured. However, I don’t want to lower myself to that cunt’s level so I’ll leave as is. The thing I’m battling with now is trusting her, I trust her as far as I can throw her.
Andrew G. Marshall says
Maybe not trusting her is the right place to be at the moment. Trust takes time to repair and your wife will need to help by being transparent and her actions matching her words.
My husband had a 2.5-year verbal affair that involved a few visits and meetings in public places. He denied they had sex, and now more than a year after my multiple discoveries, I actually believe him. At the time, I didn’t, and I too worried about sexually transmitted infections. I made the decision to tell her husband. Naturally, he was not happy. He had already found out bits and pieces of his own, but she had lied to him about the extent and about her being the instigator and the one who kept it going. I provided him proof. After his initial shock, he was grateful, and we have stayed in touch. I am still married; my relationship with my husband is improving although we still have tough times.
Here we are more than a year later, and the narcissistic harlot has nothing left. Her husband who is wealthy and funded her endeavours, left her and filed for a divorce. They had a prenuptial agreement, and she got nothing. Not quite true: he phoned me a few days ago, saying that she contracted Coronavirus and is in hospital not doing very well. He didn’t seem very bothered. I would call that a head-on collision with the Karma bus.
As a betrayed spouse, I would have hoped to have somebody step forward and tell me the truth. Instead, I had to uncover this mess myself — bit by bit.
I am not agree with the answer .
If someone having an affair (man or woman)
That is the end !
If a married man have an affair the wife must divorce him .or same thing
In my book affair not accepted !!!!!
You sure you married a loved partner? You action does not tally.
I disagree with this advice completely. I’ve been cheated on and if my wife was cheating on me I’d want to know. This has nothing to do with “being the bigger person” – the cheaters are cheating! They have already shown their character.
If your spouse is cheating and you want to try to save your marriage, you won’t know where your spouse stands on that idea if they’re neck deep in an affair.
The cheaters deserve no consideration or empathy. They are making bad, destructive decisions. If your only concern is making your spouse angry because you exposed your affair – good! Make they angry! Be angry at them for having an affair!
Spouses deserve to know if they are being cheated on.
Hi Andrew! I read this article and I need your thoughts on this. I’m in the same situation but it has already gone deeper. I have been served divorce papers and (although I’m not sure) my wife’s affair partner (who stood up to my wedding) probably has his divorced finalized. My wife told me yesterday that his wife cheated on him, so that’s why he is unfaithful with other women including my wife. This has been a tornado for my kids and for me the past 4 months, including every one that we know. So my question is, at this point should I get in contact with his wife and find out her story and tell my wife? What if my wife’s affair partner is lying this whole time to my wife? Your article is a good one, on how to focus on yourself and the fact that the more one talks bad about the affair partner the deeper the affair gets with that pity nonsense.
Andrew G. Marshall says
By all means talk to the other man’s wife, but I doubt your wife will listen to what you discover. Good luck. Let me know how it goes.
Matthew Zenner says
Thanks for your response. My spiritual director told me not to get involved so I won’t.